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Breast-Healthy Exercise

Breast-Healthy Exercise

Exercise is good for you for many reasons, including reducing your risk of breast cancer.

Many studies have found that women who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. To lower your risk, the American Cancer Society recommends that adults engage in at least 75 minutes (1.25 hours) of vigorous intensity or 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate intensity exercise every week. According to a study from the Women’s Health Initiative, this can reduce your risk of breast cancer by 18%.

We are still learning how and why regular exercise lowers your risk of breast cancer. We do know that exercise helps to regulate hormones like estrogen and insulin in the body, which may play a factor in breast cancer growth. Physical activity can also help you maintain a healthy body weight, keeping your immune system healthier.

While researchers continue to explore which exercises are most beneficial in reducing cancer risk, an ideal workout program typically includes a combination of the three main types of exercise: aerobic, flexibility, and resistance. Incorporating these exercises into your weekly routine can help keep you active and healthy.

  • Aerobic Exercise
    Aerobic exercise raises your heart rate and gets you breathing harder, improving your cardio respiratory system. Over time, aerobic exercise can help you increase your stamina by improving your heart, lungs, and muscle performance. Types of aerobic exercises include brisk walking, swimming, hiking, and cycling.
  • Flexibility Exercise
    Flexibility exercises keep your body moving, lengthening the muscle and helping you maintain—or even improve—your range-of-motion. You can incorporate flexibility training into your workouts through activities such as stretching, yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi.
  • Resistance Training
    Resistance exercise—or strength training—helps you strengthen your muscles and increase muscle mass. You can turn some flexibility exercises—such as yoga—into resistance exercises by adding weights into the routine. Types of resistance and strength exercises include weight lifting, band resistance exercises, and pull-ups.

It’s never too late to start making healthier life choices. By being more active in your day-to-day life, you can keep your body healthy and help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.